UN Appeals for $1.5 Billion in Aid for Somalia

Posted December 13th, 2011 at 12:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations is seeking $1.5 billion to assist Somalis affected by severe drought and chronic war.

The U.N.'s annual appeal aims to fund 350 different projects in the troubled country.

The U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, says the aid will support life-saving activities such as keeping food prices reasonable.

Bowden described Somalia's combination of drought and warfare, which affects some four million people, as the most complex and acute crisis in the world.

Last month, the Somali militant group al-Shabab banned 16 international aid agencies from operating in areas under its control.

The radical Islamic group has waged a four-year campaign against Somalia's government. Al-Shabab controls most of central and southern Somalia, including several areas that were deemed famine zones by the U.N. earlier this year.

The country has endured 20 years of lawlessness and conflict since the fall of the last stable government.